Getting good portraits with non-professional models

Get good portraits with non-professional models

On many occasions the opportunity to make portraits is presented, in some cases it is about portraying a friend, a loved one or even a stolen one. When we have to make a book it is about getting good portraits with non-professional models and this is a complication added to the control of light and many other issues that we have in mind when making our photos.

The main idea of ‚Äč‚Äčthis article today is to face this fact taking into account a number of factors that will help us to achieve natural expressions, relaxation in the model and with it a better portrait of what we would achieve otherwise.

It is obvious that if your portraits session is performed with a professional model you can omit most of the text that I am going to publish here, although some of the mentioned points will also be useful.


What is the trick for a good portrait?

Actually there is no trick, make a good portrait is a good sum of factors that will make you get a good portrait with professional or non-professional models . However there are a number of factors that help.


Generating a small link

Before the model begins to pose and you as a photographer begin to take photos and make requests and modifications regarding the poses is ideal to sit quietly with the / the model and you know a little. It is not advisable to talk about time but about what your interests are and what yours are.


Talk about the portraits to get

It is very important to define in some way which portraits are intended to be obtained from both sides. You are the photographer but the model will have other ideas that will also help you with the session. On the other hand, you may be cut at the time of request according to photos and in the same way the model may be looking for precisely those photos that you are not able to ask for.


Let there be music in the session

Unless you are doing a session of outdoor portraits music will help create the atmosphere necessary to get good portraits, both you and the photographer as the model you will feel more comfortable when the music is in the background. On the other hand this will make the model relax from the tension generated by having a photographer pointing and a few flashes flashing near him.


Increasing the link in the session

One of the things that works best for me when I do a session of this type is to show the model a good picture as soon as I make it and check it. Usually once this happens the other part smiles and begins to understand better what is the type of portrait you are looking for. On the other hand this will help you to make variations of a pose in search of the best possible portrait.

When you have done this several times you will notice that the model collaborates actively with you even if at the beginning it was tense.


Take some rest

It is advisable to take small breaks to relieve the tension that the model might feel when seen in front of you and all your photographic equipment. It is the ideal time for you to see the portraits that you have been doing in the session and also to take advantage of to talk about them and how to improve some.

Experiment with the poses

After having made a few portraits and having already achieved some good ones it is advisable to experiment with some poses. Some ideas are the total freedom of the model to pose freely without your suggestions, suggesting that dance, suggesting that you sing, jump … And well, I’m sure you can think of many more ideas arrived at this point.


The example portrait

As you can see in the example portrait the model was singing. It was not my suggestion but at that moment the level of tension was minimal and Jordi already felt comfortable to experiment with other types of poses.

And so far my article today “Get good portraits with non-professional models” , I hope this article is useful.

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